7 Things You Learn on a Long-Term Road Trip (LTRT)

As much as you think physically training for hikes is important, it’s not. Your most valuable asset is your mind. Fine tune that like it’s your job. So, to help you better prepare for your own trip, here are a few things to note if you want to be mentally prepared for a sweet adventure.

 

You Need a Killer Playlist

You think you have enough music to keep you jamming for miles after miles? You’re probably wrong. The playlist will repeat itself, and you will be stuck skipping every song since you’ve long grown tired of them. Pull together absolutely everything for this playlist. Those songs you only have as novelties, the songs you love to hate (eh hem, let’s be honest, Justin Bieber’s whole new-ish album) and the oldies you can’t help but sway with. Pro tip: don’t fear singing along because that is definitely what will keep you awake at the wheel on hour 12.

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You’ll Stop Caring About Your Looks

I’m not one to primp much, but almost everyone feels the need to at least look somewhat presentable. On a LTRT? Nope. You will have fifth-day-without-a-shower greasy hair and a stench that you may slowly grow proud to marinate within. Feel no shame in going to fancy restaurants while looking like you just got slobbered on during a bear fight in the woods. Baby wipes only do so much, so own your look.

Scenic Byways are the Best

If you’re road tripping, you’re already desiring a more unique view of the world, but the byways are a fabulous find. They take you on some possibly overly bumpy roads, but you’ll catch empty, breathtaking views.

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Weekdays Mean Nothing for National Parks

Think you’re beating the crowd by going during the work week? Very funny. Throngs of families on vacations will stampede past with their littering children and screaming dogs (which, aren’t really allowed in the parks so please leave them at home). Crowds will ruin your dream Instagram post and mask the pretty views. Luckily, the National Parks are still amazing and you can find solace in some areas.

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You’ll Reach Breaking Points

If you’ve read any of the blog posts about my 2017 Sib Trip, you probably thought I was a little insane. Aside from partially being accurate, it’s really a product of constant driving, constant movement and constant interaction with the one person you took the trip with. I blame Evan, my brother, for my insanity. Moments come where you’ll question why you don’t just go home, throw on sweats and curl up with a good ol’ Netflix marathon. Trust me, I was there. In the end, though, it’s worth the occasional struggle because these trips are a rare treasure.

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You’ll be Surprised What the U.S. Looks Like

Sometimes you’ll really have to pee, and the only exit within the next 300 miles is some town with barely a hose in the ground to pump gas. Population 10 signs will shock you, and so will the vast gorgeousness of the country. You could see desert in one day and be up in snowy mountains the next. It’s an incredible country that I hadn’t truly appreciated until my Sib Trip.

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You Will Never Want to Stop

Sitting at work, you look out the windows and think I could be out there right now. It’s this insatiable desire to be on the move and have that peace that only nature and adventure can bring. Be happy that you’ve had that experience, and get excited to try and plan another.

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You will come out of your trip a changed person. I, personally, discovered an unashamed love for wearing socks with Chacos. Sue me. Go on the trip, and stop worrying about logistics. Just be sure to have baby wipes and great songs.